I love church on Christmas and around Christmas. Today, at my church in Pittsburgh, the Sunday School program was at 9 a.m. and the regular service still took place at 10:45 a.m. Without even trying everyone was decked out in their holiday red and green with festive scarves and broches. There was gift giving and the children did an amazing job of singing, dancing and quoting scripture..
Going to a small church, my Pastor acknowledged the three or four college students that were home, wihch was heartwarming. Then, just like me, there's another transplant who has become a member of the Pastor's family, but is returning to his home in Brooklyn. We prayed over him, literally laying hands on him and hugging him and wishing him well.
Then there are the warm greettings and well wishes and gift giving and card exchanging, but even better than that was the Word. This is the time of year where we are reminded of the tenets of our faith. And it truly is faith because the story of Jesus Christ is fantastical.
If you don't have faith, you'd never believe it. And I was overwhelmed in church today, because I realized that faith is the basis of so much hope. I could not function as a member of two marginalized groups of society and expect or even believe that I would be successful without faith. I could not imagine bringing children into this world and expect or believe that they wouldn't be harmed, discriminated against, hurt or otherwise taken advantage of, it it wasn't for faith.
I could not move to any part of the country and expect that the same God that kept me in my hometown will provide for me where I am without faith.
Christmas service reminded me of all of these things.
I also learned during the Sunday School program that "swaddling clothes" were the things they use for animals. So basically, if you're milking a cow or tending a horse, that's the stuff they use for it. They wrapped my savior in animal sheets. That humbled me so much.
I loved church today.